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Columbia Tigers; MU as Union prison

From the History of Boone County, page 805--

“The upper most rooms of the University were used as prisons for the confinement of Confederate prisoners. On one occasion they sought to break out. The attempt was a failure. Two or three made their way into the garret, where they were discovered and assaulted by their guards, and desperately wounded.

“The Federals used the cupola of the court-house as a look-out. Here two or three sentinels were kept on the watch continually, as the point commanded a view of all the roads leading into the town. The cupola of the University was also used as a watch-tower.

“Just after the invasion of the county by Todd’s and Anderson’s guerrillas, and the massacre and battle of Centralia, Columbia was placed under martial law. The able-bodied male citizens, irrespective of party or political sympathy, formed a company to defend the town against an expected and much-dreaded raid of the bushwhackers. A block house was built in the middle of the street, at the corner of Eighth and Broadway, to be used as a tower of refuge and of strength in the day of battle and of raid. The military company was called by the terror-inspiring name of 'Tigers,' the cognomen being supposed to indicate the fierce and desperate nature of the members, and giving fair warning to all bushwhackers to keep away from their lair and to beware of their cruel fangs, as it were. Really, however, the company might with propriety have been called the 'Snow-White Lambs,' so harmless were they, and so gentle, and withal with such an aversion to the smell of 'villainous saltpetre.' They could hardly be called 'tigers,' having in view the fitness of terms.

“The 'Tigers' had barrels of fun all the same. It was such jolly sport to shirk duty, such as standing picket, patroling the streets, or mounting guard. The penalties for any infractions of duty were not very severe. Capt. Rollins was of a kindly nature, and when such fierce warriors as J.S. Dorsey, J. Th. Fyfer, John Samuel and George W. Trimble, were brought before him for breaches of military discipline, it may be imagined that the severity of his sentences was not very extraordinary.”

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Columbia Tigers; MU as Union prison
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